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Morrison's Miracle »

The 2019 Australian Federal Election

Publication date: 2020
This book, the 17th in the federal election series and the ninth sponsored by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, provides a comprehensive account of the 2019 Australian election, which resulted in the surprise victory of the Coalition under Scott Morrison. It brings together 36 contributors who analyse voter behaviour, campaign strategies, regional variations, polling, ideology, media and the new importance of memes and digital campaigning. Morrison’s victory underlined the continuing trend toward the personalisation of politics and the loss of trust in political institutions, both in Australia and across western democracies. Morrison’s Miracle is indispensable for understanding the May 2019 Coalition victory, which surprised many observers and confounded pollsters and political pundits.

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Australian Journal of Biography and History: No. 3, 2020 »

Publication date: 2020
The articles in this issue of the Australian Journal of Biography and History consider subjects who have lived across and between national and internal Australian boundaries, and the authors have thus been compelled to address the methodological and theoretical problems of mobility. Kate Bagnall addresses the seemingly insurmountable problem of writing about Chinese women who settled in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century. Contrasting with the dearth of information on Chinese women immigrants to colonial New South Wales, Jackie Dickenson’s chapter on Hong Kong–based merchant and trader Melbourne-born Elma Kelly (1895–1974) benefits from an abundance of documentation, both in the realm of the personal and official. In her article on the Corney family in the aftermath of World War I, Alexandra McKinnon considers the record of loss and sorrow preserved in the archives of the Australian War Memorial. Very different methodological questions are explored by Suzanne Robinson in her reflections on writing a biography of the Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912–90). As a feminist biographer, Robinson had to face a most ‘troublesome question’ of whether her subject’s considerable imperfections, which became evident during research, risked undermining her status as a composer, particularly one whose reputation was yet to be fully established. A different form of methodological question is posed by Pat Buckridge in his article on three generations of Macdougall men, each of whom became journalists—Dugald (1833–79), who also excelled in business and politics, Dugald the younger (1872–1947), and James (1903–95). The question Buckridge considers is whether his subjects can ‘usefully be considered as a grouped biographical entity signifying more than the sum of its parts, which is to say more than the three separate lives’. By contrast, Peter Crabb’s article on the colonial goldfields reporter John Augustus Hux (1826–64) relates the story of a single figure who, having made connections in his English homeland that would serve him well in Australia, provided eyewitness accounts of a number of significant goldfields in New South Wales, which were widely read in the colony and thus helped to form popular images of the industry. Finally, in a departure from the theme of mobility characterising the other contributions, Nichola Garvey documents her experiences of working with the Western Australian iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest to research and write his biography. In what was conceived by both the author and the subject as an ‘authorised biography’, Garvey’s article raises some fundamental questions about biographical writing of living persons, including the utility and pitfalls of what she calls ‘expressivist anthropology’, as well as the scope of authorisation in biographical writing.

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How Local Art Made Australia’s National Capital »

Publication date: 2020
Canberra’s dual status as national capital and local city dramatically affected the rise of a unique contemporary arts scene. This complex story, informed by rich archival material and interviews, details the triumph of local arts practice and community over the insistent cultural nation-building of Australia’s capital. It exposes local arts as a vital force in Canberra’s development and uncovers the influence of women in the growth of its visual arts culture. A broad illumination of the city-wide development of arts and culture from the 1920s to 2001 is combined with the story of Bitumen River Gallery and its successor Canberra Contemporary Art Space from 1978 to 2001. This history traces the growth of the arts from a community-led endeavour, through a period of responses to social and cultural needs, and ultimately to a humanising local practice that transcended national and international boundaries.

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A Cautious New Approach »

China's Growing Trilateral Aid Cooperation

Authored by: Denghua Zhang
Publication date: 2020
‘As a student of international relations and a former diplomat, Zhang brings the insights of a practitioner and the eye of scholar to explain why Chinese actors choose to engage in aid cooperation with traditional donors in the Asia Pacific. This book is among the first to take a holistic approach to understanding the motivations of the many agencies involved in China’s aid program, and it will challenge the expectations of many readers.’ —Dr Graeme Smith, Australian National University ‘This book breaks new ground by examining a little known dimension of China’s foreign policy: trilateral aid cooperation. Denghua Zhang sets this highly original analysis in the context of the new assertiveness of Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping, the China International Development Cooperation Agency established in 2018, and the Belt and Road Initiative, which now serves as the framework for Chinese overseas aid and engagement. At a time when the debate in the West about the rise of China has intensified, not always knowledgeably, this book fills an important gap in our understanding of China in South East Asia and the Pacific.’ —Dr Stewart Firth, Australian National University ‘This thoroughly researched work examines trilateral cooperation as a new and interesting aspect of China’s growing international aid program, and as a window into the changing nature of that program as well as the wider foreign policy in which it is embedded. The broad themes and topics discussed are clearly significant, ultimately touching on one of the most important international issues of our time, the implications of the rise of China for a long-established Western-dominated international system.’ —Prof. Terence Smith-Wesley, University of Hawai‘i

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People and Place »

The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in History and Literature

Authored by: Len Richardson
Publication date: 2020
This book traces the enduring relationship between history, people and place that has shaped the character of a single region in a manner perhaps unique within the New Zealand experience. It explores the evolution of a distinctive regional literature that both shaped and was shaped by the physical and historical environment that inspired it. Looking westwards towards Australia and long shut off within New Zealand by the South Island’s rugged Southern Alps, the West Coast was a land of gold, coal and timber. In the 1950s and 1960s, it nurtured a literature that embodied a sense of belonging to an Australasian world and captured the aspirations of New Zealand’s emergent radical nationalism. More recent West Coast writers, observing the hollowing out of their communities, saw in miniature and in advance the growing gulf between city and regional economies aligned to an older economic order losing its relevance. Were they chronicling the last hurrah of a retreating age or crafting a literature of regional resistance?

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Roars from the Mountain »

Colonial Management of the 1951 Volcanic Disaster at Mount Lamington

Authored by: R. Wally Johnson
Publication date: 2020
Mount Lamington broke out in violent eruption on 21 January 1951, killing thousands of Orokaiva people, devastating villages and destroying infrastructure. Generations of Orokavia people had lived on the rich volcanic soils of Mount Lamington, apparently unaware of the deadly volcanic threat that lay dormant beneath them. Also unaware were the Europeans who administered the Territory of Papua and New Guinea at the time of the eruption, and who were uncertain about how to interpret the increasing volcanic unrest on the mountain in the preceding days of the disaster. Roars from the Mountain seeks to address why so many people died at Mount Lamington by examining the large amount of published and unpublished records that are available on the 1951 disaster. The information sources also include the results of interviews with survivors and with people who were part of the relief, recovery and remembrance phases of what can still be regarded as one of Australia’s greatest natural-hazard disasters.

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The Bugis Chronicle of Bone »

Publication date: 2020
The Bugis Chronicle of Bone is a masterwork in the historiographical tradition of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. Written in the late seventeenth century for a very specific political purpose, it describes the steady growth of the kingdom of Bone from the fourteenth century onwards. The local conquests of the fifteenth century, closely linked to agricultural expansion, give way to the long conflict with the Makasar state of Gowa in the sixteenth century. Forced Islamisation in 1611 is dealt with in detail, leading finally to first contact with the Dutch East India Company in 1667. This edition presents a diplomatic version of the best Bugis text, together with the first full English translation and an extensive introduction covering the philological approach to the edition, as well as the historical and cultural significance of the work. A structure based on the reigns of successive rulers allows for stories about the circumstances of each ruler and, particularly, the often dramatic processes and politics of succession. The chronicle is a rich source for historians and anthropologists seeking to understand societies beyond Europe. It provides a window on to this Austronesian-speaking society before the impact of significant external influences. This is history from within, covering more than three centuries.

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Re-imagining Japan after Fukushima »

Authored by: Tamaki Mihic
Publication date: 2020
The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster (collectively referred to as ‘3.11’, the date of the earthquake), had a lasting impact on Japan’s identity and global image. In its immediate aftermath, mainstream media presented the country as a disciplined, resilient and composed nation, united in the face of a natural disaster. However, 3.11 also drew worldwide attention to the negative aspects of Japanese government and society, thought to have caused the unresolved situation at Fukushima. Spurred by heightened emotions following the triple disaster, the Japanese became increasingly polarised between these two views of how to represent themselves. How did literature and popular culture respond to this dilemma? Re-imagining Japan after Fukushima attempts to answer that question by analysing how Japan was portrayed in post-3.11 fiction. Texts are selected from the Japanese, English and French languages, and the portrayals are also compared with those from non-fiction discourse. This book argues that cultural responses to 3.11 had a significant role to play in re-imagining Japan after Fukushima.

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Wiidhaa »

An Introduction to Gamilaraay

Authored by: John Giacon
Publication date: February 2020
The Gamilaraay language declined in use for many years after the colonisation of Australia. From around 1990, Gamilaraay people and others have been working to revive the language. This book draws on recent research into previous records and analyses of Gamilaraay and of the closely related, and better recorded, Yuwaalaraay. It provides an introduction to many aspects of the language including verbs, the case system and the extensive pronoun paradigm, in a format that students have found very helpful for the last 12 years. Please note: Readers will need to download and open the PDF files in the latest version Adobe Acrobat to access and listen to the sound files within the book. This textbook is used as course material in: Gamilaraay – an introduction to an Australian Indigenous Language INDG2003 and INDG6003

Australia’s Fertility Transition »

A study of 19th-century Tasmania

Authored by: Helen Moyle
Publication date: February 2020
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most countries in Europe and English-speaking countries outside Europe experienced a fertility transition, where fertility fell from high levels to relatively low levels. England and the other English-speaking countries experienced this from the 1870s, while fertility in Australia began to fall in the 1880s. This book investigates the fertility transition in Tasmania, the second settled colony of Australia, using both statistical evidence and historical sources. The book examines detailed evidence from the 1904 New South Wales Royal Commission into the Fall in the Birth Rate, which the Commissioners regarded as applying not only to NSW, but to every state in Australia. Many theories have been proposed as to why fertility declined at this time: theories of economic and social development; economic theories; diffusion theories; the spread of secularisation; increased availability of artificial methods of contraception; and changes in the rates of infant and child mortality. The role of women in the fertility transition has generally been ignored. The investigation concludes that fertility declined in Tasmania in the late 19th century in a period of remarkable social and economic transformation, with industrialisation, urbanisation, improvements in transport and communication, increasing levels of education and opportunities for social mobility. One of the major social changes was in the status and role of women, who became the driving force behind the fertility decline.